10 Noteworthy Berkshire books of 2017

Here is a list of 10 great books of 2017, in no particular order, by authors who live full or part-time in the Berkshires:

"The World of Tomorrow" by Brendan Mathews

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company/552 Pages

The new novel, "The World of Tomorrow," by Lenox author Brendan Mathews is full adventure and a textured atmosphere of promise, risk and the complete unknown that was the reality of an immigrant-rich America at the time of the 1939 World's Fair.

"Edith Wharton's Lenox" by Cornelia Brooke Gilder

Publisher: The History Press/171 Pages

"Edith Wharton's Lenox," by lifelong Berkshire resident Cornelia Brooke Gilder of Tyringham, is the wholly encompassing and in-depth history of the "cottage" era of Lenox in the decade Edith Wharton created The Mount and when she was "an emerging celebrity author."

"Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between" by Linda Greenhouse

Publisher: Harvard University Press/150 Pages

"Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between," by Stockbridge resident Linda Greenhouse, chronicles personal observations and the history of how journalism has changed in important ways toward more accurate language and perspectives that inform our opinions and our deepest concerns.

"The Rev. Samuel Harrison" by Ann-Elizabeth Barnes

Publisher: Crow Flies Press/175 pages

This book by South Egremont author, Ann-Elizabeth Barnes, is an important new history of renewed transparency, depth and truth that brings to light the remarkable story of the first minister of the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield. This book is an important contribution to Black history in the Berkshires of the Civil War era.

"The Samurai of Seville" By John J. Healey

Publisher: Arcade Publishing-New York/261 Pages

Emily Dickinson famously wrote, "There is no Frigate like a Book/ To take us Lands away ..." and this is a good descriptor for the new novel by Williamstown author, John J. Healey. Adventure, history and romance that shakes the world when a contingent of the Shogun's 17th-century Japan visits Spain.

"Live To Tape — An Ethan Benson Thriller" by Jeffrey L. Diamond

Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc./Pages: 408

The story behind a television news anchor's report is deep and complex. These stories are always full of high drama, and often extreme doses of suspense. "Live To Tape," the second in Richmond resident Jeffrey L. Diamond's Ethan Benson Thriller series, tells that dramatic story from the depth of Diamond's own firsthand knowledge as a former topflight television program producer.

"Chemo Pilgrim: An 18-Week Journey of Healing and Holiness" by Cricket Cooper

Publisher: Church Publishing/174 pages

"Chemo Pilgrim: An 18-Week Journey of Healing and Holiness," by Cricket Cooper — Rector at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Pittsfield — is a deeply searching memoir chronicling the author's treatment for cancer, diagnosed three days before her 51st birthday, and her accompanying pilgrimage to four monastic retreats. What is most gripping about this memoir is its focus on discovering life, how to live free and easy as possible in the face of terror and disease.

"Five-Star Sundays, Two-Star Mondays: An Un-Altar- Ed Memoir by a Minister's Daughter" by Laird T. White

Publisher: See author website/247 Pages

This books is a high-energy story of an adventurous life by the author and poet Laird T. White of Lenox. Every episode and portrait is of extraordinary living in the events and people who shaped the author's gifted narrative of humor, profoundly honest and compassionate perspective's, and an understanding of living that always sheds the light of resolution.

"Faces Somewhere Wild" by David Giannini

Publisher: Dos Madres Press/87 pages

Andrei Codrescu, a seminal voice in American poetry and once regular commentator on NPR, described poetry by David Giannini of Becket as poems that " ... know a mysterious grace. They hover lightly about the imminent birth of things, taking shape from the clenching & declenching of the story locked in the human form." The poet says that the poems and prosepoems in "Faces Somewhere Wild" are selected from 45 years of laboring and living in the Berkshires.

"Secrets Of The Gem Trade: The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones (Second Edition) Revised and Expanded" by Richard W. Wise

Publisher: Brunswick House Press/361 Pages

This is an absolutely fascinating book both as highly collectable and as a complete reference to appreciating beautiful gems and jewelry.


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